Crafting a lively, realistic or fantastic world is something that many games aspire to achieve. In the past we have seen games like Fallout 3 and Mass Effect create amazing open worlds, but we have also seen games like ‘The Stanley Parable’ and ‘To The Moon’ who are slightly more subtle in the way they craft their environment. What worlds have set the standard this year? Find out what we think below…
Have a look at our other recommendations in our other 2015 Christmas Cracker articles. Keep an eye on the top of the page to see all the categories.
LAUREN – Fallout 4 and Yoshi’s Woolly World
JULIAN – 80 Days
I know that I am being cheeky by selecting this game, however, given that it has only just seen a full PC release I am willing to stick to my guns.
Set in the Jules Verne tale that goes by the same name, 80 Days has to travelling the globe with the aim of navigating it within, the aforementioned, 80 days.
Based in a steampunk world where machines and people often co-exist (with varying degrees of success), hot air balloons are the main form of air flight and cars are steam powered, 80 Days crafts an amazingly detailed world. This world often throws obstacles in your path. Political unrest could see you arrested. Voyaging on a pirate ship could see you pulled beneath the waves.
What Inkle has done with 80 Days is craft an experience where the player truely feels that anything could be thrown their way. It is a masterpiece of modern world design.
ZAC – Fallout 4
When it comes to worlds and environments, what matters most to me is a world that I can just get lost in for hours on end and become fully immersed in. And for that reason my choice is unsurprisingly, Fallout 4.
The world of Fallout 4 is not just impressive in sheer size but also in just how densely packed it is with content and story compared to Fallout 3 and even Skyrim. I’ve lost count how many times a simple journey from A to B has seen me become sidetracked only to stumble upon hours and hours of discovery and questing. Fallout 4‘s world may not always be the most logical or believable (pre-war skeletons and junk still laying around after 200 years? C’mon Bethesda), but it does ooze atmosphere. No corner of the Commonwealth wasteland lies bare, every inch of it has a story to tell or something to investigate. It’s the type of hand-crafted world that puts other developers that boast of similar open worlds like Ubisoft to shame.
The juiciest parts of Fallout 4 lie off the beaten path, hence why players that rush through the main quest line and put the game down shortly after only complain about their experience. I think everybody owes it to themselves to explore the Commonwealth at their own pace and enjoy the true essence of what the world of Fallout 4 has to offer.
JAMES – The WITCHER 3 – Wild Hunt
When I first played The Witcher 3 I instantly fell in love with the world. The reason is because the game makes sense. Each character in the world feels like they have their own life, their own story, and they react to the world around them. Unlike Fallout 4 where you meet a person and all of a sudden become Grand Brotherhood Maester Leader General Number 3, in The Witcher, the world knows who you are. And this is pretty much a mercenary. You can’t craft the best weapons and armor in the game by grinding iron daggers, because you are not a blacksmith, that isn’t what you do, and the world knows this.
It feels like the events happening in the world that are a big deal to you, aren’t a big deal to the villages, and NPCS, and that is because they have their own shit to worry about. They want to feed the families, or get drunk at the pub. This to me makes the world feel alive, and keeps me coming back to play the game.
JOSH – Darkest Dungeon
This was a hard one. I love so many gaming worlds, but for me Darkest Dungeon sets the bar so damn high, so easily and it’s not even in full release yet. The game just BREATHES grime, dust and blood. It doesn’t have photo realistic graphics, it doesn’t even have real dialogue. It has a brilliant narrator, wonderful characters and I cannot wait to see more of it.
JOHN – Fallout 4
As somebody who loves exploration, hidden side stories and post apocalyptic settings there’s really no other choice for Best World.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Bethesda’s game worlds and Fallout 4 is in my opinion their best so far. Scary monsters, roaming travellers and raiders help make the world feel alive, there is no shortage of dilapidated buildings to explore and now with the addition of respawning mobs inside building there’s so much more re-playability than their previous titles.
The only negative thing I have to say (and it’s a very small thing) is that you can’t sweep the damn floors in your settlements! You’d think after a few weeks of you living there you’d clean the leaves and shit out of your damn house, it’s a seemingly small thing but it really takes you out of it and makes it seem like you actually aren’t having as much of an effect on the world as you’d like. That being said, that being the only criticism is pretty amazing and a testament to Fallout 4‘s immersive universe.